Whenever you sell, buy, let or are building a new build you will require an EPC or Energy Performance Certificate. This must be done prior to any tenants moving in or you put your property on the market to let or sell.
Scottish law requires the EPC certificate to be on show inside the property maybe next to the boiler or inside the meter cupboard.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will provide you with an energy efficient rating starting at 'A' being most efficient, all the way to 'G' being the least efficient. Once it has been carried out it remains valid for a period of 10-years from the date it was issued.
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How do I get an energy performance certificate EPC?
If you are thinking of letting or selling your home you will need an EPC. To obtain an EPC you need to instruct an accredited assessor to assess your property so an EPC can be produced. If you are going through a letting agency to let your home or using an estate agent to sell your home they can help you source this. If you are doing it yourself you can click on the link below to help find an accredited assessor via the government website.
This is mandatory law and you can receive a fine if you fail to get an EPC when one is required. Whoever is selling the property, the agent or the landlord must produce the EPC certificate on request.
Properties & buildings that do not require an EPC:
Viewing other buildings EPC reports
It is permitted for anyone to view other properties Energy Performance Certificates at no cost whatsoever. By doing this you can compare your properties energy consumption with that of other properties similar to yours. This information can be readily searched either by the EPC’s reference number or the property address. You do have a choice to opt out of registering your EPC report if you wish for others not to view your report.
EPC's for rented properties
On the 1st November 2008 it became mandatory for an Agent or Landlord to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property being newly let to a new tenant. It is not necessary to provide an existing tenant with a new EPC every time they renew their contract; it only applies to new tenants moving in. Once an EPC is issued it is valid for a period of 10-years.
Exemptions to the rule
If you are not occupying the complete property but rather a section of it and this is mentioned in your tenancy agreement then an Energy Performance Certificate will not be necessary. This is apparent when a property is rented by a number of people who share a kitchen or bathroom but have sole private use of their bedroom. In this case every tenant will have his or her own tenancy agreement between him or her and the Landlord for the areas of the property they are granted access to. This would not be the complete property. A new EPC would not be necessary when there is a change in tenancy.
What to notice in an EPC
When you look at the first page of the report you will immediately see how environmentally friendly & energy efficient the property is.
Ratings start at 'A' being most efficient, all the way to ‘G’ being the least efficient. Commonly properties usually have a D-E rating. Especially if you are renting the property you will need to look at the ‘Current’ rating and not worry about the ‘Potential’ rating as its not your property you may not want to apply any of the recommended changes. While its good practice not to let this determine which property you rent it can sway your decision when choosing between two properties. The next section of the report concentrates on the overall usage of hot water, heating & lighting. This will identify if the property is a high user in a particular form of energy. A semi detached, three-bedroom family home having a rating of 'E' will cost on average about £700 to £950 per annum. If the property is shared by a number of occupiers this figure can increase.
The best way to use this information
As a Landlord you do not have to apply the recommendations but it makes sense to do so to stay on good terms with your tenants and it can make your property to let a lot more attractive to other potential tenants. As a Landlord you can also claim a sum back no more than £1500 in expenses by insulating your properties and off setting it against your tax invoice by using the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance (LESA)
Even though an EPC is valid for a period of 10-years there is no objections for it to be voluntarily updated whenever you wish if you have carried out improvement works.
Some Landlords do refuse to apply the recommendations from an EPC so the best action would be to bring the subject up again after the first year when you are thinking about signing up a new tenancy for the second or third year. If you concentrate on items such as room thermostats, loft insulation, hot water tank insulation you may convince your landlord that these items will provide him with the best return for the lowest outlay cost. If he still refuses it may be time to look around.
To be able to qualify for the Warm Front Heating & Insulation grant, tenants occupying a private dwelling must have the correct criteria benefits. If you are unsure it's always a good idea to call for a Benefit Entitlement Check at your local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre (EAC)
Its free by calling 0800 512 012 or go to The Energy Saving Trust
What exactly is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will provide energy consumption information on a property for potential tenants thinking of letting the property or possible buyers wanting a new home. It will identify where improvements can be made to the property to save costs making the building more energy efficient. It began in 2007 and was originally a part of the Home Information Pack that has since been discontinued, for properties let or sold in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. As things change with time so has the EPC, it was simplified, streamlined and updated in 2012 as a part of the Green Deal Assessment. The Green Deal was perfect for the EPC as its intention was to help people introduce energy saving enhancements to their properties.
In general a survey will take approximately an hour and is valid for a period of 10-years. The Energy Performance Certificate first began in August 2007 so as its over 10 years old it is recommended that if you hold an EPC for your home and are thinking of selling or letting it you need to check that its still valid as without a valid EPC you will not be allowed to let or sell your property.The Energy Performance of Buildings Regulation 2012 regulates energy Performance Certificates with surveys being carried out by Domestic Energy Assessors.
As things change with time so again has the EPC. In April 2018 changes were made making the minimum energy efficiency rating set to an ‘E’ rating EPC as standard for non-domestic buildings. These regulation changes affect the residential and commercial sectors for EPC’s. It will be necessary for property owners to improve their buildings to meet the minimum standard requirement. If they fail to do this they will be committing an offence by letting the building and they will be subject to a penalty fined of up to £4000 being levied against them.
How much is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can cost between £40 and £100 plus the dreaded VAT. Costs can vary so it’s well worth the effort to shop around. The best way is to go direct to a Domestic Energy Assessors and not go through an Estate Agent, as an Estate Agent will inflate the cost to make their profit and cover their time to organize it.
The cost of an EPC is also dependent on a few factors being:
An EPC will have general details of the property such as:
Recommendations will be submitted to support energy savings tailored around the properties requirements. Most properties in the UK fall into a 'D' or 'E' rating. Even if your not intending to let or sell and are settled in your home for the long haul an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can also help you save money on energy bills as it will show you how energy efficient your home is and will recommend areas where improvements can be made to save you money.
Why Choose Acorn Electrical & Mechanical
We are based in Plymouth Devon so we cover the complete South West. We have a team of skilled electricians who are passionate about their work and have been doing it for over 15 years.
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Please feel free to call us for help or advice.
If you are interested in booking a survey for any of our services or just a safety check, please contact Acorn Electrical & Mechanical (AEM) and a member of our team will be happy to help or advise you. CALL now on 01752 201077 or 07528 889733